ERIC Number: ED334976
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Harnessing the Power of Interactivity for Instruction.
Borsook, Terry K.
Arguing that what sets the computer apart from all other teaching devices is its potential for interactivity, this paper examines the concept of interactivity and explores ways in which its power can be harnessed and put to work. A discussion of interactivity in human-to-human communication sets a context within which to view human/computer interaction by looking at the Shannon-Weaver and the Berlo models of communication. Selnow's critical features of interaction are examined, along with Berlo's four levels of communicative interdependence: definitional-physical interdependence; action-reaction interdependence; interdependence of expectations; and interaction. It is noted that Berlo's levels hold many lessons for designers of instructional software. SimCity is then briefly described as a program that allows the student to become a part of its world, where the computer seems to be replaced by an entity whose responses are highly related to the user's responses. A "recipe" for interactivity is proposed which calls for the following ingredients (variables): immediacy of response; non-sequential access to information; adaptability; feedback; options; bi-directional communication; and interruptability. Discussions of the findings of research on the advantages (and drawbacks) of learner control and adaptive instruction conclude the paper. A final statement makes the point that computer instruction systems should emulate, to the greatest extent possible, the richness and flexibility found in human/human interaction while concomitantly exploiting the unique capabilities computers have to offer, thus making the computer and the student partners in the critical art and science of education. (61 references) (BBM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of Selected Research Presentations at the Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology; see IR 015 132.